“If you really loved me, you would….” Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of a good old guilt-trip? While most have experienced guilt-tripping, it does not make it right and should be addressed in one way or the other. As with most things, there are different levels of manipulation regarding guilt trips, and the ways of dealing with them are often varied as well. Not to fret. We have got you covered. Keep reading for our 7 tips on how to handle guilt trips like the boss you are.
1. Avoid Trying to Defend Yourself
Attempting to defend yourself is only going to result in a disagreement or argument. Instead, try to pinpoint why the feelings have arisen and what you can do, together, to fix the issue at hand. Listen, and really hear them, then communicate your side of things. Compromise will come if that is what both parties truly want.
2. Limit Your Exposure
Unfortunately, some people just have manipulation in their blood, they literally cannot help themselves. But, that does not necessarily mean that the relationship needs to be abandoned (depending on the person, of course). So long as the manipulation is relatively harmless, communication does not have to be completely cut off. Although you should consider limiting your exposure to them if it gets to be too much – and they might just take the hint.
3. Set Boundaries
Continuing the above point, in a situation where you are dealing with a natural-born guilter, clear boundaries must be set. And, you must stick to them. The guilter may not even realize what they are doing and having boundaries set for them could be the wake-up call they’ve been needing.
4. Stop Seeking Approval
When faced with a guilt-trip, a little bit of self-reflection is also called for – no one is totally blameless. Many times those that are being constantly guilt-tripped, are, consciously or not, approval-seeking individuals. Not to say that it is a bad thing but guilters can sniff someone out that always wants to do for others. Caring for yourself needs to come first.
5. Call Them Out
As stated earlier, sometimes guilt-trippers are unaware of their manipulative behavior and need to be called out on it. If someone close to you starts guilt-tripping, explain to them the behavior is not a healthy way of communicating and is unacceptable.
6. Consider and Analyze the Reasons Behind the Guilt Trip
Guilt-tripping, while obviously not a good way to go about it, is a result of something deeper. Find out the reason(s) for the guilt-trip, why the guilter feels the way they do, and try to find a common ground regarding an appropriate solution.
7. Know When to protect Yourself
Alas, not everyone has pure intentions. Deciphering the root cause of the behavior might bring you to some uncomfortable truths. Some people are happy to be manipulative and intentionally bring negativity. Those are the guilters that you need to protect yourself from. The guilt-tripping is not coming from a place of love.
Having someone that you likely care for lay a guilt trip on you can be an emotional and confusing time. You might be tempted to lash out – but regardless of the guilters’ actual intentions, it really needs to be handled in a calm and logical manner. Not sufficiently dealing with the situation in the moment, could lead to a loss of a true relationship. Be the bigger person and try to get to the heart of the matter. It might just save you from future trips down a guilty lane.